Our next stop was Lenoir, NC, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Our campground was in those mountains, outside of town. It was a gorgeous location. All the RVs were dwarfed by the tall, tall trees.
We were allowed to drive the park to pick out our site location. We found what we liked fairly quickly. We got set up before the rain started, though it had obviously rained off an on prior to our arrival. This photo was taken later, when we had sun, but it shows what a great site we had.
There was a small babbling brook just below and to the left of the wood deck in this picture. Most of the sites had wood decks – it was hard to choose a site.
It was raining off and on during our first morning there. So we decided to head to the Visitors’ Center and get help deciding what to do during our four-day stay.
We realized that the towns of Blowing Rock and Boone were not far up the road, so we drove there after picking up the tourist brochures. Lenoir is around 1200 feet above sea level. Just before entering Blowing Rock we crossed the Eastern Continental Divide at about 3600 feet. We’d been to these two towns before, so just drove around for a bit.
We stopped in the downtown of Boone to walk the shops, but quickly decided against it. First and foremost: it was cold! We’d been in 90+ degree weather since well before leaving home, so the 65 (or so) of this area with high winds was COLD! (Yes, I’m a weenie, but I was not prepared for that at all.) We drove back into Blowing Rock and had lunch at British pub where we’d eaten before. And it was just as good as before!
Noting the high winds, we decided to head back to the coach and hope that our awning was not torn to shreds. But about half-way back down the mountain, the winds stopped and the temperature rose to about 80. I’d forgotten about the changes going up and down the mountains – it was just like Colorado!
Later that afternoon it rained some more. But the air temperature was cool enough to leave the sheltered windows open and not use the air conditioning. That was a nice change from the weeks before.
The next day, we headed into “historic” downtown Lenoir. We weren’t impressed. The shops were scattered all over and there wasn’t much we were interested in, anyway. So we headed home for lunch and a new plan.
We decided to drive out to Wilson Creek. It’s a small gorge to the west of Lenoir on Hiway 90. After a wrong turn (full of beautiful scenery) we did find our way into the gorge. It, too, was beautiful. We took Brown Mountain Beach Road north along the Wilson Creek. It wasn’t long till it turned into a dirt road.
Here are a couple photos we took along the creek. Lots of folks were enjoying the warm, sunny weather.
We were ready to hit pavement again when the map and the road signs pointed us back onto Hiway 90. Wrong! Several more miles of dirt road – more narrow than we’re used to and still a winding road. I guess that was the price we paid for the gorgeous scenery.
Not long after we got home, it started to rain again. Enough already!
Wednesday was clear and beautiful. We decided to return to Blowing Rock to see The Blowing Rock. We hadn’t gone in the last time we were in the area because the wind wasn’t strong enough for the effect to occur. There wasn’t much wind on this day, but we went in and really enjoyed it.
This is the blowing rock:
It’s not really very big. I won’t go into the legend here, but we heard a man tell his kids that when he was there as a child, his father threw his cap over the rock and it blew right back up and into his hands. I’m sure there wasn’t enough wind to try it on that day, but it’s a cool story.
The views from this area were spectacular. Here are a few shots we took:
And these shots give you an idea of the beautiful grounds.
After leaving the attraction, we went up the road a very short distance to a restaurant called Canyons. Here’s why:
This was the view from our table on the deck. Oh, and the food was really good, too!
Our last day in the area was spent getting ready for travel. With all the rain we’d had, it was smart to get all the outdoor stuff put away while it was at least partially dry. We needed groceries and had other chores to do. The day actually passed pretty quickly.
We’ll be back to the North Carolina mountains later in our trip. But for now, it’s farewell as we head to our next destination.